Filing non-MTD VAT returns during transition

Two methods are available to agents who seek to file client VAT returns

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HMRC has started migrating all of its remaining VAT customers from the VAT Mainframe (VMF) on to its Enterprise Tax Management Platform (ETMP). Businesses that have already signed up to MTD are not affected by this change and do not need to take any action, as their records are already stored on ETMP.

During the transition period, agents can file returns for some clients (non-MTD) through the old agent portal and the returns for clients whose records have been transferred to ETMP will need to be filed from the agent services account (ASA). Once the transition period ends, agents will be able to see all their clients on the new ETM platform.

This means agents can file the VAT returns for clients who are not yet signed up to MTD for VAT in one of two ways, depending on whether they have been migrated to ETMP or not. Agents will need to check using method (a) whether they are able to file or not, and if not, use method (b):

a) through agent online services for clients who haven't yet been migrated, or 

b) through an ASA for clients that have been migrated.

Once the non-MTD VAT clients are moved to ETMP, their details can be updated through ASA account.

As MTD for VAT will be mandatory for all businesses (including turnover below £85,000) from April 2022, agents should start preparing early to be ready for these changes by following simple steps as listed below:

  • analyse your VAT client base – identify how many clients submit non-MTD VAT returns currently
  • check their source records and talk through the suitable software with your client
  • prepare and send communication to them
  • register clients into MTD. 

Alternatively, if the agents do not have agent services account (ASA) or are having difficulties with their ASA account, then as normal clients can file their own VAT returns through their Business Tax Account to avoid any late filings.

The Treasury announced in July last year that MTD will be extended to all businesses regardless of turnover from April 2022.

Useful resources

ACCA Making Tax Digital for VAT- FAQ